March 17, 2009

John Micek III

Written by Dena Evans
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The oldest of six siblings, John was born and raised in Omaha, Nebraska, originally heading west to attend Santa Clara University.  Enrolling with a scholarship for athletic training, he retains the ability to tape an ankle in approximately 18 seconds.  John attended law school just up the road at University of San Francisco, following a two-year stint at a Jesuit-run community outreach program in Seattle.   His career as an attorney has taken him through a variety of in-house counsel and corporate roles, and he presently serves as Managing Director of Silicon Prairie Partners, a venture fund based in Palo Alto.  John has four kids, aged 17-30.  Recently turned 56, he freely admits to exulting in an age group win at a local trail race despite finding out later that only one other person his age had entered.

1.    How did you start running?

I ran a little cross country in high school, but about the age of 45 I decided I was getting old too quickly.  At first, even one lap tired me out, but I gradually built up.   Eventually someone asked me to do a 5k, then a marathon relay. At one point I started to hurt my knees, so I began cycling as well.  Once the kids got older, I had a bit more time.

2.    Who is your running role model?

Shaluinn Fullove (fellow FNFer and 2008 Olympic Marathon Trials competitor) for all that she has accomplished.  She has great form, and is an amazingly hard worker.  Also, Beeler (Charles, long time workout partner).  He’ll beat me up if I don’t mention him.

3.    What has been your most memorable running / racing experience?

The Paris Marathon.  I was turning 50, and five weeks before the race I tore my knee, had arthroscopic surgery, and ran it 21 days later. I had all these plans for my birthday, so I was committed to giving it a try.  I was over in Paris, ran three miles, called my doctor, and he told me I could try as far as I could go without really ripping up the knee (thinking I’d make it five or six miles).  So when I called him and told him I finished, he was quite surprised.

Also, running Boston on a Monday and Big Sur the following Sunday in 2005.  I had cramped and finished pretty slowly at Boston so I wasn’t too sore.  By Wednesday, I felt pretty good, and some friends were heading down.  I showed up at the expo with my Boston hat, and despite turning down all the last minute requests of people ahead of me in line, when they guy saw my hat and realized I had just run Boston five days before, he let me in.  That year, I did the “death ride”, starting at Markleyville for 130 miles on the bike at altitude (5 mountain passes, including 15,000 meters of climbing), shot a hole in one at the Olympic Club, and ran the New York Marathon.  So, a pretty memorable year at age 52.

4.    What have you enjoyed about working with Focus-N-Fly?

Friendships.  The focus of all the runners.  The training by Tom, and just the environment he has helped create.  People are focused, but they aren’t jerks.  Tom’s training is really injury prevention more than anything.  My PR was just this fall at Victoria (3:27)

5.    What is one part of your racing routine you can’t do without (sleep, pre race meal, tie shoes certain way, other ritual)?

Coffee after the race.  It’s about trying to focus on something to get me through the run.  It’s socialization I look forward to.  That’s why I pick up Charles.   It helps me get up in the morning.

6.    What is your favorite place to go for a run?

Central Park. The Louvre in Paris.  Big Sur.  Sawyer Camp.  Golden Gate Bridge on clear day.

7.    In the next year, what goals do you hope to accomplish?
I’d like to do a Master’s Mile; see how low I could get.  I’d like to be in the five minute range or at least below six minutes.

Last modified on October 10, 2010
Dena Evans

Dena Evans

Dena Evans joined runcoach in July, 2008 and has a wide range of experience working with athletes of all stripes- from youth to veteran division competitors, novice to international caliber athletes.

From 1999-2005, she served on the Stanford Track & Field/ Cross Country staff. Dena earned NCAA Women’s Cross Country Coach of the Year honors in 2003 as Stanford won the NCAA Division I Championship. She was named Pac-10 Cross Country Coach of the Year in 2003-04, and West Regional Coach of the Year in 2004.

From 2006-08, she worked with the Bay Area Women’s Sports Initiative, helping to expand the after school fitness programs for elementary school aged girls to Mountain View, East Menlo Park, and Redwood City. She has also served both the Stanford Center on Ethics and the Stanford Center on the Legal Profession as a program coordinator.

Dena graduated from Stanford in 1996.

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